Continuing its buying spree in Orlando’s tourism district, a Pennsylvania-based management and investment company has closed on two more hotels near theme parks.
Marking its third and forth acquisition here in the past 15 months, HHM Hospitality recently bought the 141-room Marriott-branded Aloft Lake Buena Vista for $22.1 million and the 140-room Holiday Inn Express and Suites directly next door for $19.2 million, according to Orange County deed records.
That amounts to $156,893 per room and $137,142 per room, respectively.
With the latest transactions, finalized on June 14, the company now has ownership of three hotels side-by-side along Palm Parkway. In December, the company paid $49.5 million for the dual-branded Springhill Suites and TownePlace Suites, directly next to Aloft.
HHM could not be reached for comment.
All three assets were previously owned by Southern Hospitality Management and Development.
Nikesh Shah, president of the Mt. Dora-based company, told GrowthSpotter that the area is benefiting not just from its proximity to Disney and Universal theme parks, but also the development activity happening nearby.
South of Lake Ruby, the hotels are located a few parcels down from where a cluster of new hotels — a Tru by Hilton, Hyatt House and Comfort Suites — are slated to be developed.
It’s also just a few blocks away from where Unicorp National Development is building its 76-acre O-Town West mixed-use project along Palm Parkway. Once complete, it’ll feature over 1,500 residential units with retail, dining and office space divided among four sub-districts: Village at O-Town West, The Crossings at O-Town West, the Town Center at O-Town West and the Boardwalk at O-Town West.
On the other side of I-4, across from the hotels, developers behind a “futuristic” and “immersive” retail experience in Las Vegas are looking to introduce an Area15 attraction to the Orlando market.
A company tied to New York-based developer Fisher Brothers paid $25 million for the development site near the Orlando Vineland Premium Outlets in January.
The Las Vegas version offers live events, art installations and a 6,500-square-foot food hall by chef and restaurateur Todd English. Features include a Meow Wolf art exhibit, a 23-foot Japanese maple tree inside and a canopy of 5,000 LED lights.
Shah said HHM is “very bullish” in Orlando.
In March 2021, HHM acquired the Crowne Plaza Orlando in an auction for $35.7 million — or $89,250 per room — after its original owners filed for bankruptcy. The 14-story hotel, located at 7800 Universal Blvd., features 400 rooms and proximity to the tourist hub of International Drive.
Shah said HHM approached Southern Hospitality about the latest sale, with help from Atlanta-based brokerage firm, Hunter Hotel Advisors.
And while the sale price reported by Orange County in deed records total $41.3 million for both assets, Shah said it was higher than that. He didn’t disclose the actual amount, citing confidentiality.
“It was a great transaction for the seller and the buyer,” he said, “with a long-term vision as far as benefitting right now from COVID restrictions being lifted and all the growth that we’ve got going on.”
Shah said his company will use the capital gained from the sales to pursue other development projects in the Orlando area, but wouldn’t go into specifics just yet.
“We have about three other projects in the pipeline that are still early on,” Shah said.
The six-story Aloft Lake Buena Vista opened in 2021 on 2.35 acres. A $20 million construction project, it includes 1,000 square feet of meeting space, an indoor-outdoor bar connected to the pool area, and the brand’s typical large lounge area on the ground floor.
The six-floor Holiday Inn Express and Suites opened in 2019 on 3.16 acres.
HHM is among the fastest growing investment and development firms in the industry, according to the company’s website. Its portfolio includes 185 hotels and over $1 billion in managed revenues from coast to coast.
In Orlando, the company also owns the Holiday Inn Resort Orlando Suites and Waterpark, formerly known as the Nickelodeon Suites Resort.
Southern Hospitality has a goal to add 10 new hotels via construction and acquisition in the next five years, according to its website.
In the Orlando market, the company currently owns the Hampton Inn Mt. Dora, the TownPlace Suites at the Orlando Airport and the Home2 Suites by Hilton in Lake Mary.
These are the latest hotel sales to occur this year in Orlando’s tourism district.
Kabani Hotel Group has been involved in four recently.
In April of this year, Atlanta-based HKB Hotel Group paid $18 million for the 200-room Quality Inn across from Icon Park on International Drive. The buyer entered the Orlando market last December with the purchase of the Red Roof-plus hotel right next door at 8342 Jamaican Ct. for $10.5 million.
Kabani sold the 264-room Quality Inn International Drive, located at 5858 International Dr., for $16 million to Jacksonville-based Rore Investment Group.
The Kabani Hotel Group also sold the 214-room Quality Inn & Suites Turkey Lake for $12.75 million. Built in 1990, the property had undergone recent renovations, including an extended breakfast area, hardwood floors, parking lot resurfacing, and premium furnishings. On-site amenities include an outdoor pool with poolside bar.
And earlier this month, Orlando-based investment and asset management company Radix Hawk Group purchased the 40-year-old, 192-room SureStay Plus by Best Western on International Drive for $19.7 million.